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Freshmart tops Rojas in grappling, headbutt-filled title bout

Fighters Network

Knockout CP Freshmart didn’t live up to his ring name but he did enough to top Byron Rojas to win the WBA strawweight title Wednesday at City Hall’s Ground in Khon Kaen, Thailand.

Freshmart (13-0, 6 knockouts) got the nod on all three scorecards by tallies of 115-113, ending the reign of the Nicaraguan Rojas (17-3-3, 8 KOs) just three months after he upset Hekkie Budler in a close fight to win the title.

Freshmart, rated No. 4 by THE RING and Rojas, the division’s No. 2 contender, leaned in close to bang away for the first two rounds. This mutual strategy quickly caused a head clash, resulting in a cut near the corner of Freshmart’s left eye in round two.

Faced with the possibility of having the fight declared a no-contest as his eye filled with blood, Freshmart (born Thammanoon Niyomtrong) began swinging away with left hands, coming up the middle and around the guard. Rojas, who had won 11 straight entering the fight, fired back with quick combos of his own, which forced Freshmart to tie up.

The in-fighting continued for much of the fight, though constant grappling and headbutts overshadowed the action as both men smothered the other’s shots. Freshmart often led with his head to begin exchanges while Rojas used his head often in close to create punching distance.

The win upgrades Freshmart’s interim title to a full title, as he joins WBC titleholder Wanheng Menayothin as the second unbeaten Thai champion currently reigning in the division.


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